Mark Zuckerberg says iMessage is much less safe than WhatsApp


Why it issues: The heads of WhatsApp and dad or mum firm Meta have opened one other spherical of verbal jousting over who has the perfect and most safe messaging service. Like earlier than, the principle flashpoints are cloud backup safety and cross-platform interoperability.

This week’s new commercial for WhatsApp is the most recent jab at Apple for refusing to increase encrypted messaging and different options to non-Apple platforms. On social media, Mark Zuckerberg and WhatsApp boss Will Cathcart contrasted the app’s newest options with iMessage.

An advert above the doorway to Pennsylvania Station exhibits three message bubbles in numerous colours. One is inexperienced to signify SMS or MMS messages showing on iPhones, and one is blue to signify iMessage. A 3rd is white and labeled “Personal Bubble” to characterize WhatsApp and its privateness options. The advert implies that iMessage’s restriction to iPhones makes it much less safe than WhatsApp.

Apple’s messaging service options end-to-end encryption when all customers in a dialog use Apple units. Nonetheless, iPhones revert to unencrypted SMS or MMS texting with Android telephones. On Instagram and Twitter, Zuckerberg and Cathcart talked about WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption, which extends to cross-platform conversations.

Google criticized Apple’s coverage earlier this yr, encouraging the corporate to permit RCS messaging on iPhone. Google adopted RCS on Android final yr, which additionally encrypts end-to-end. The corporate has since complained that Apple locks customers into its ecosystem by solely permitting encryption and different superior options by means of iMessage.

Throughout its courtroom battle with Apple final yr, Epic Video games identified that Apple would not convey iMessage to Android as a result of it could merely encourage iPhone-owning mother and father to purchase their youngsters Android telephones. Throughout a Vox panel final month, Apple CEO Tim Cook dinner explicitly mentioned he’d reasonably convert customers to iPhones than enable RCS messages between iPhone and Android customers.

Zuckerberg and Cathcart additionally highlighted WhatsApp’s end-to-end encrypted cloud backups. The pair mentioned Apple would not assist this function, however it is a bit extra sophisticated.

Apple encrypts iCloud iMessage backups but in addition retains keys to these backups. That coverage makes it simpler for customers to get well their messages in the event that they lose their passwords however offers Apple an encryption key to their messages. Cathcart tweeted that Apple cannot open encrypted WhatsApp backups on iCloud however did not say whether or not WhatsApp or Meta can.

WhatsApp has additionally just lately taken flak from a competitor over safety issues. Earlier this month, Telegram founder Pavel Durov used a WhatsApp safety advisory from final month to name the service basically insecure. He referred to WhatsApp’s vulnerabilities as “planted backdoors” and referred to as the app a surveillance device.